It’s not just thinking about climate change that can make you feel sick — climate change itself is bringing maladies upon us. Allergies, fungal infections, malaria, and other health problems are taking a growing toll as the climate shifts — and they are expected to grow worse.
Some members of Congress want the U.S. government to start preparing for these health hazards. On Friday, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and two other Democrats in the House introduced the Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act, which would authorize the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research climate change’s health impacts and would help public health officials better plan for the onslaught.
“One of the most troubling and immediate impacts of climate change is its harmful effects on public health. Regardless of what one believes about its causes, climate change is very real. The heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and extreme weather events that are happening with greater frequency and intensity have a profound impact on public health that we’re only beginning to understand. We have to provide our public health officials with the tools and resources they need to effectively track and prepare for these significant public health challenges.”
The legislation had previously been incorporated into the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill, which was passed by the House in 2009 but died in the Senate. This time around, you can safely bet that the legislation won’t be passed by either chamber. But, as evidence mounts that climate change can be deadly, bravo to Capps et al for trying to keep the issue in the news.